Document Type


Publication Date



Henry A. Giroux and Peter McLaren argue that many of the recently recommended public school reforms either sidestep or abandon the principles underlying education for a democratic citizenry developed by John Dewey and others in the early part of this century. Yet, Giroux and McLaren believe that this historical precedent suggests a way of reconceptualizing teaching and public schooling which revives the values of democratic citizenship and social justice. They demonstrate that teachers, as "transformative intellectuals," can reclaim space in schools for the exercise of critical citizenship via an ethical and political discourse that recasts, in emancipatory terms, the relationships between authority and teacher work, and schooling and the social order. Moreover, the authors outline a teacher education curriculum that links the critical study of power, language, culture, and history to the practice of a critical pedagogy, one that values student experience and student voice.


This article was originally posted in Harvard Educational Review, volume 56, issue 3, in 1986.

Peer Reviewed



Harvard Education Publishing Group



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.